It is a suggestion that continues to pop up on a regular basis: The U.S. should have another Cash for Clunkers Program. Don't laugh, it's an idea that some in the industry continue to push with regularity. While their intentions and hopes are understandable, it's an idea that won't become reality.
At face value, it is not the biggest story in the auto industry. But it is one more important sign the auto market is returning to health.
After the last three years and seeing scores of auto plants close down and thousands of plants shut down, it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking the auto industry is dead. Nothing could be further from the truth.
This car is not yet approved by the DOT for street driving, so my limited test drive was limited to an industrial complex outside Detroit. But even in short drive, the Nano impressed me with plenty of pep and responsive handling. Its tight turning radius will be an asset for zipping around in urban areas with tight spaces. For an entry-level car, it works. You don't get the feeling you are driving a compact car that lacks power and agility.
Sergio Marchionne has heard the comments. He knows there are plenty of people who have written off Chrysler. He knows there are scores of reporters who take the lack of auto show press conferences as a sign the company is dead in the water. He also knows Chrysler can no longer afford to make big promises it can't keep.
Jean Jennings is no wallflower. She says what she thinks. It may not always turn out to be true, but that's not stopping the Editor of Automobile Magazine from saying whatever she wants. And most times, it gets your attention.
As I walk around the Detroit Auto Show, the gloom and doom of last year has lifted. Replaced with cautious optimism. All is not well in Motown, but there are reasons to be optimistic.
The sheer number of hybrid and electric vehicles on display at the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit certainly illustrates the green commitment of automakers, but other--more significant--environmental improvements will be less noticeable.
One month into his tenure as CEO of GM, Ed Whitacre Jr. has a pretty simple game plan for getting GM back on track: just make money. Don't laugh. It's what the man has said time and again, most recently Wednesday afternoon when talking with reporters. While his strategy may sound hokey and simple, I think it's exactly what GM needs right now.
If it's not already apparent, we are quickly heading towards a day when our car will be fully "wired" into our lives and that connectivity opens up a host of opportunities and problems.
Ford Motor's December sales leaped an adjusted 23.3 percent, far outpacing industry forecasts for the U.S. automaker, while sales at General Motors declined 12.8 percent, slightly worse than expected.
In the clearest sign yet that the world's least expensive mass-market car is coming to the U.S., Indian automaker Tata says its Nano micro-car could be here in three years.
It may be halfway around the world from Detroit, but the auto expo this week in New Delhi, India is in many ways a far more important than the one we'll see next week in Detroit.
Maybe it's because the Chinese are new to the auto game. Maybe it's because Americans automatically think, "we invented the car business and nobody can do it better than us." Or maybe it's because some people are worried the Chinese will grow Volvo and become an increasing threat to the Big 3.
Let's be clear, Chris Liddell is not being hired JUST to be General Motors CFO. Sure, he'll get that title and hold that job for several months, but his future at GM will go way beyond overseeing the company's financial operations.
Though some progress has been made with electric and hybrid vehicles, battery technology remains deficient, especially for the critical long-haul segment of the business.
On a regular basis, I get e-mails from people saying we spend too much time focused on GM surviving, Ford being on a roll, or the development of electric cars.
What must former GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner be thinking? In less than a year most of what he built in his tenure as GM CEO and before that on the GM Board has been completely dismantled. The final piece coming today with current GM Chair and CEO Ed Whitacre announcing Saab will be wound down.
For A123 investors, it's been a nice two-day run. The stock is surging today after a 5% gain on Wednesday, as the U.S. battery maker announces a joint venture in China with SAIC Motor Corp.
The comments this week by Audi of America President Johan de Nysschen about President Obama's administration pushing electric cars is one that will no doubt get the attention of many in the auto industry.